What’s Next for Topps Digital?

With the release of Topps’s new Walking Dead Card Trader app, it was the first time that they branched out from their existing physical licenses to launch a digital product. To be honest, it was almost completely off the radar, and that is a very good thing. It shows that the consciousness around the digital side is worth acquiring new brands to launch, even if that means physical takes a back seat. The question now remains – what comes next?

WWE Digital

I would be stupid not to put this first on the list. There was an outpouring of support for a WWE app when the first tweets about the recent launch started to surface. Because no one knew that the Walking Dead was on tap, everyone believed the WWE license would be the best one to transfer to a digital arena. Personally, I have to believe that if they did this right, it would go over like gangbusters. The WWE has an ENORMOUS and rabid fan base, and its clear that they want a digital card game that has more of a collecting approach than SuperCard. Im putting high odds on this because of how much sense it makes.

Odds: Even money

UFC Digital

Again, like WWE, the fans for UFC have been very vocal about getting the chance to have an octagon themed app like Topps is capable of. As mentioned prior, UFC is a physical license that Topps has in the bag, so its a natural conversion. Without a sports app released in over 3 years, its time to get back into the non-entertainment game. Like WWE, this app just makes too much sense, and deserves higher odds.

Odds: Even money

Dr. Who Digital

This is more of a longer shot, as its clear that Dr Who’s fan base might not be something that can support an app to itself. As part of a larger entertainment grouping, I could see it being more popular, but as a whole, im not sure the show has enough of a following in the US to make this work. That being said, if the physical products released in the coming months take off, they could reconsider.

Odds: Long shot

Garbage Pail Kids Digital

Like Dr. Who, this is a Topps physical license that I am skeptical about support from the app crowd. Cross traffic from the other apps would be interesting to track, but Garbage Pail Kids isnt a household name the way that the Walking Dead or even Dr. Who might be. There are some nostalgic individuals who would LOVE to see their favorite cards from their youth get the digital treatment, but GPK just doesnt have the collector appeal in a way that I see an app being built around.

Odds: Long shot

NBA Digital

Rumors around the watercooler is that the NBA isnt all that happy with Panini on the physical side. The fact that they didnt negotiate a digital exclusive means that Topps could get in the game if they so choose. This would take a lot to happen, but if I were in the position that Topps is in, I would be gunning for it like a maniac. Im not ready to say this is imminent, but its more of a gamble now than it has been before. As one of the main sports out there, with an app already in existence, Im putting better odds on it.

Odds: Middle of the Pack

NHL Digital

Again, the only reason I am putting this on the list is because its one of the big four sports. Because its one of the big sports, it has to be on the radar. Upper Deck has a good thing going with E-pack, but its not a true digital card program. Being that the NHL is their exclusive license on the physical side, its clear that Topps has reason to want to get in the digital game. Like the NBA, dont hold your breath, but it just cant be out of the question.

Odds: Middle of the Pack

NASCAR Digital

Im not sure why, but after WWE, this would be my dream sports app. I just dont see NBA or NHL being on the cusp at all. There are too many roadblocks for them that I dont see with NASCAR. Although I am not a huge fan of Stock Car Racing, the prospect of what an app like this can bring to the digital world would be amazing. Similarly, Panini just took over a limited physical license and plans to release NASCAR products on that side of the fence. I would say from that perspective, it would be stupid to think it isnt on Topps’ radar as a potential sports addition to their portfolio. Fantasy is big in NASCAR, and with a live aspect to the game, you can see how it would fit perfectly in the digital world.

Odds: Middle of the Pack

The Simpsons Digital

In terms of a high profile entertainment license, the Simpsons have a huge global appeal. Although the collecting side of the show is small, the way that Topps could market the product would be insane. Physical products would also be something worth chasing, especially because so few companies have tried to make the products. Think of all the guest stars and directions this could go, and if done the right way, could be literal digital insanity. That being said, I have to believe there is a reason that so few companies have gone down this road. Maybe the show’s team is tough to work with. Who knows?

Odds: Long Shot

Seth McFarlane Digital

There are a few shows that McFarlane has done, mainly Family Guy, American Dad and Cleveland Show. These shows have a huge internet following, and Family Guy remains one of the most popular animated shows on TV. McFarlane has done work recently with Leaf in the last few years, and might be open to going down the digital path if he got the right offer. This would be a multi-branded app like Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, so it might be something that all the shows can coexist. Would be great to see. Im putting better odds on this because of the recent physical sets.

Odds: Middle of the Pack

Marvel Digital

Im going to close with the one license I would say would be as good as Star Wars, and believe it or not, its another Disney affiliated company. Marvel’s recent success with all the movies could make this app so big that Topps might be able to fund the division for years. Marvel as an entertainment app would be something that has as large a universe as Star Wars, maybe quite a bit bigger. Movies, Comics, Toys, everything would be literally the best thing to happen to digital since Star Wars. If Topps can find a way to get this done, get ready for the biggest app release in history. 10 years ago, this would have been a joke, but now, its the holy grail. Upper Deck owns the physical license, and has done work with movie themed cards. I know its possible to get this done, but it wont be cheap. It might be so expensive that it cant happen. Odds reflect that situation.

Odds: Long Shot

I would love to hear what you all think, as the fans seem to know what they want in terms of a new chase with a new app. I think we could see a yearly cadence if the SW, TWD process continues to be the case. Topps Digital is expanding as we can see, and I hope more fun is on the way.

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One Response to What’s Next for Topps Digital?

  1. Before additional funds are spent on licensing, Topps should increase QA efforts. Fix the mold, then cut more cookies.

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